According to our lessons today, Paul was on a missionary journey through Macedonia and Greece, and was collecting money from the churches there for the poor church in Jerusalem. The previous year he had gotten promises from a number of churches in that area to contribute to the gift for their brother and sisters in Jerusalem. Now he’s coming back to those churches to collect what was promised and deliver it to Jerusalem.
Something that surprised even Paul happened during this process. The Christians in Macedonia were dirt poor and sorely afflicted - probably by local persecutors of the church— yet they gave generously anyway. Why did they do that and how did they manage to despite their poverty and suffering?…See full sermon here